Twitter makes its API free for public announcement accounts

Twitter announced Tuesday that it is making its API free for accounts posting public announcements such as weather alerts, transportation information, and emergency warnings.

The company said that verified government or public-owned services posting about public utility alerts will be eligible for free API usage.

The social network announced its new API pricing tiers last month. It placed a 1,500 tweets-per-month limit on free API tier users and a 3,000 tweets-per-month limit on $100 basic tier users. These restrictions were not enough for public service announcement accounts.

As a result, the National Weather Services (NWS) account tweeted last month that its ability to post automated tweets had been limited. New York’s Metro Transit Service (MTS) also said that it will end its public alert system on Twitter operated through various accounts.

The change in API pricing has had a massive effect on several tools. In April, Microsoft removed the option for Twitter from its social media sharing tool for advertisers. At the same time, Flipboard announced that its Twitter integration had stopped working.

Last week, WordPress said that users won’t be able to automatically share their posts to Twitter using the Jetpack Social product.

While Elon Musk & Co. has made API usage free for certain government-run services, there is no clarity on the future of disaster management accounts that relied on Twitter to manage the situation.